Big struggle for Patriots' offense

SAN DIEGO – Here is a statistic that is not seen very often when it comes to the Patriots: They had just 38 net yards of offense in the first half.

That explains quarterback Tom Brady's reaction when he was asked about the team’s attack in the first half.

“What offense?” he responded. “We had a hard time moving at all. We couldn’t get into a rhythm at all. The second half was better, but I don’t think it was great by any stretch. It feels good to win, see the defense play the way they did and get those turnovers, but we certainly can play a lot better offensively.”

Two changes helped the Patriots’ offense at the start of the second half – replacing left guard Dan Connolly with Ryan Wendell, and going to more of an up-tempo approach. The switch at left guard seemed to settle down the left side of the line, which was victimized in pass protection in the first half.

The Patriots opened the half with a 17-play, 79-yard drive that ate up 8:35 and culminated in BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ 1-yard touchdown run.

“We needed that,” Brady said. “We’ve done that a couple times right after halftime, but we have to do a better job starting the game and taking advantage of turnovers. I have to do a better job of finding open guys. Hopefully it doesn’t come down to a nail-biter.”

In the end, the Patriots finished with 179 net yards of offense and Brady was sacked a season-high four times while going 19 of 32 for 159 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

“It feels good to win those games when you don’t play great,” Brady said.